Rays Cash "very excited" about Miller, Morrison acquisitions
Rays manager Kevin Cash was pleasantly surprised with the news team president Matt Silverman provided in the acquisition of SS Brad Miller and DH Logan Morrison as part of a six-player trade with the Mariners.
"I'm excited, very excited,'' Cash said Friday at a team-run playground build in St. Petersburg. "I think two of the guys, in Morrison and Miller, were guys that had been targeted in the past, guys that we liked.
"Hopefully Brad Miller comes in and, in what seems to be some uncertainty about the shortstop position, fits right into that mix and he's competing. He has the experience of playing that position for quite some time. And he's also versatile.
"With Logan Morrison, proven bat, left-handed bat. I think at the end of the year everyone was talking about that we need some left-handed bats. We just got two. Two guys that have had success and shown the ability to hit right-handed pitching.''
To get Miller and Morrison, plus RH reliever Danny Fauquhar, the Rays had to give up one of their starting pitchers, RHP Nathan Karns, plus LHP C.J. Riefenhauser and outfield prospect Boog Powell.
While they felt they had some surplus in starting pitching given the late-season returns of LHP Matt Moore and LHP Drew Smyly, Cash acknowledged Karns - who was 7-5, 3.67 and made 26 starts - is a big loss.
"Yes, we feel we had depth but we're losing a huge piece of what helped us be successful last year in Nate Karns,'' Cash said. "For a first-year pitcher, for a first full season, he did some tremendous things for us. When you acquire good players you have to give up good players and we definitely feel like we did. We're definitely appreciative for what Karnsy did and the way he evolved throughout the course of the season for us.''
Miller will be the leading candidate to replace Asdrubal Cabrera as the starting shortstop, with Tim Beckham and Nick Franklin also competing along with prospect Daniel Robertson.